Bodhisattva (Compassion) Practices – 4


Long-Associated companions will part from each other. Wealth and possessions obtained without effort will be left behind. Consciousness, the guest, will cast aside the guest house of the body. Letting go of this life is the Bodhisattva practice.

Modern Translation

Death and Impermanence


A bodhisattva’s practice is to give up concern
   being totally with this lifetime,
In which friends and relations a long time together
   must part their own ways;
Wealth and possessions gathered with effort must be left behind;
And our consciousness, the guest, must depart from our bodies,
   its guest house.

— The Berzin Archives Thirty-seven Bodhisattva Practices

 For original post, see Thirty-seven steps will stop your suffering

 (Bodhisattva  — In Tibetan Buddhism, a Bodhisattva is anyone who is motivated by compassion and seeks enlightenment not only for him/herself but also for everyone…)

The Thirty-Seven Bodhisattva Practices

 Practice – 3                                                                     Practice – 5

4 comments on “Bodhisattva (Compassion) Practices – 4

  1. sparrow says:

    Michael this one reminds me of a poem also. . .I was raised like most of us that in order to be a success we had to obtain the dictates of the over-culture to be successful, how empty that proved to be. Then with wild abandon i walked away from the known and watched the things and markers of idenity fall away. . .Several years later i read this poem by Adyashanti and laughed with delight. Michael with the service, the challenges, and the loses may you soon know a joy greater than all that has gone before. . .

    I am all hollowed out now
    Like a reed.
    I gave everything for this.
    And still I laughingly wonder:
    How could it have been so cheap?


    • contoveros says:

      The “importance” of things seem to drift away the more i “drift” along this new path. It’s amazing how very little one actually “needs” and how “freeing” that feeling has become.


  2. Reading this, and thinking about the time when consciousness will indeed abandon this “guest house,” I couldn’t help but think of the magnitude of the Buddha’s victory when he proclaimed:

    “O house-builder, you are seen! You will not build this house again. For your rafters are broken and your ridgepole shattered. My mind has reached the Unconditioned; I have attained the destruction of craving.”

    Builder: craving; House: body (the five aggregates); Rafters: defilements; Ridgepole: ignorance

    Here’s another, longer and fuller, translation of the Buddha’s “lion roar” of final victory:

    Through the round of many births I roamed 
without reward,
without rest,
seeking the house-builder.
    Painful is birth 
again and again.

    House-builder, you’re seen!

    You will not build a house again.

    All your rafters broken,
the ridgepole destroyed,

    gone to the Unformed,
    the mind 
has come to the end of craving.


    • contoveros says:

      You’re Great Steven.

      I highlighted some of the lines you sent above. You really do need some kind of introduction to the language, but once met, one can really appreciate the richness.

      michael j


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